We're Linda and Andy Johnson, from Cazenovia, New York. What began as a blog about a bike ride has become a story about our ride through life, trying to overcome a disease that has had a huge impact on us and on many of our friends.

Our journey began in 2007, when Kyle Bryant originated the idea of Ride Ataxia - riding his three-wheeled cycle from San Diego to the annual National Ataxia Foundation meeting in Memphis. It took two months to get there, and in the process he raised $40,000 to fund Ataxia research and he raised awareness of the disease like no one has before. Well he rode to the annual meeting again in 2008 and we joined him! We left from Sacramento and arrived in Las Vegas two weeks and 650 miles later.

You see Linda also has Friedreich's Ataxia. This inherited disease causes the nerves of the body to deteriorate. Linda (and Kyle) can still walk at this point, but it's getting much more difficult. In addition, speech gets slurred, finger dexterity suffers, and other serious complications can develop as time goes on.

The good thing is that research is more promising than ever! Several drugs are going through trials at this time, with other significant research taking place as you read this. There has never been a better time to contribute to this research! Let's cure this disease - for Linda, for the rest of the Ride Ataxia team, and for all of the others afflicted with this disease!

Enjoy our blog! Feel free to write to us any time. Check out the links in the right column below to read more about the disease and our adventures. And if nothing else, be sure to take the seven minutes to watch FARA's video - we couldn't say it better ourselves.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Andy's Bike Setup

Andy writes:

This weekend we picked up a trainer for my bike. Now I can ride on my real bike instead of the exercise bike. I was getting pretty concerned that I needed to get my butt (yes, my butt) in shape for this ride - it doesn't usually get the workout that this bike seat is going to put it through. Sure enough, I've been riding on the new setup over the weekend, and boy is my ass sore. I can tell it's breaking in, though, because it gets a little easier each time.

I also got some nice road tires and tubes for my bike, instead of the knobby mountain bike tires that were on it. These look like they'll be excellent! Nice and smooth. I switched the bike over to the new tires, and about an hour later I had a flat on the front. So I have zero miles on the new tires and I already have a flat. I hate to calculate how many flats that means over 600 miles! (of course you math wizards know the correct answer is infinity)

Another thing I figured out now that I'm on my real bike is that I need some new underwear (something a little more serious in the "package containment" area). This biking is getting expensive!


  1. I use a Terry "Liberator" seat on my bike, the kind with the cutout which is supposed to help avoid numbness where you really don't want it ;-)

  2. If you are really worried about flats ... I'd go with the airless tires from Nu-Tech ... they have less riding resistance than Amerityre ... I've ridden them for 9 years and have never had a flat since ... - Royal :0)

  3. Sore butt? Get a Brooks saddle and use these last weeks to break it in. All the long distance riders I know use them up to 1200k.